Legends from our own lunchtimes

Thursday, August 18, 2022

On the Motorway
Tuesday 16th August - Antoing to Tournai

We have in the past, mentioned our fascination with the naming convention or lack thereof, of the monster ships we are playing with a the moment.   So often they seemed to be named after a favourite kitten or some not terribly obscure piece of Greek or US folk law or literature.  

If we had been looking for omens today, perhaps the fact that the first two ships we saw were  “Missile” and “Abyss” might have been a clue as to what awaited us beyond the bund walls of our quiet little harbour.  Since we don’t seem to connect those sorts of dots until after the fact, we edged out into the canal and turned right towards Tournai anyway.  

Things went extraordinarily well for a few minutes or perhaps ten, until we rounded the first bend to discover that every bargee that had taken the day off yesterday was bent on making up for lost time today.  Every turn in the river was effectively a road block, with ships trying to tip-toe past one another.  

All went smoothly enough with the skippers of each passing ship just as intent on avoiding us as we were on avoiding them.  Apart from a bit of drifting time while waiting for the one way system through the city centre, progress was slow but quite pleasant and we arrived relaxed and ready to watching the fun from the comfort of our inner city mooring, having travelled the nine kilometres in almost two and a half hours.

Given that each  of these ships has the load carrying capacity of around fifty semi trailers give or take, we shuddered to think just how long the “train” would have been if the loads they were carrying were on road transport, let alone what our states of anxiety might have been in had we taken the same time to travel the same nine kilometres by automobile in their company. 


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